The New-Look Cardinals Receiving Corps - Dynasty Football Factory (2023)

With the recent departure of DeAndre Hopkins, the Arizona Cardinals are looking toward a rebuild. What they do over the next 12 months will be pivotal for the team’s future in competing for the divisional crown in the NFC West and returning to the playoffs. With the 49ers and Seahawks set up very well for both the immediate and long-term future, it is imperative that the Cardinals get this transition correct. In this article, I assess this transition period’s impact on the viable fantasy options within the Cardinals’ offense.

The Depth Chart

Kyler Murray**James ConnerMarquise BrownZach Ertz**
Colt McCoyKeaontay IngramRondale MooreTrey McBride
Clayton TuneCorey ClementGreg DortchNoah Togiai
David BloughTy’Son WilliamsMichael WilsonChris Pierce Jr.
Zach Pascal
Andre Baccellia
Auden Tate
Javon Wims


2023 Projections

To begin, let’s analyze what Hopkins leaves behind. He appeared in nine games during the 2022 season, amassing 64 catches on 96 targets for 717 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged just below a 30% target share in these appearances, which leaves a rather large portion of unclaimed offensive production for the remaining receiving options on the roster.

Unfortunately, projecting the 2023 volume for the above players isn’t as easy as just spreading Hopkins’ 96 targets around, as Colt McCoy is anticipated to assume the QB1 role for the team until Kyler Murray is finished rehabbing his injury suffered at the end of last season. In the four games McCoy appeared in last season, the Cardinals’ offense only surpassed 15 points once, versus a tanking Rams team led by John Wolford. Despite the offense’s apparent success in this game, McCoy averaged a mere 2.16 seconds in the pocket and a 6.4 aDOT. His time in the pocket was the worst in any game for a Cardinals QB last season, and the 6.4 aDOT was the third worst mark for any QB in the NFL last season. If Colt McCoy is the starter to begin the season, we should expect minimal downfield plays and a ton of check-downs.

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The good news for fantasy players is that McCoy should be throwing many passes in each game, as the game script should dictate that style of play. In his four appearances last season, he averaged 33 pass attempts and a 68.8% completion percentage (or 23 completions/game). In PPR leagues, this should salvage some fantasy value for the Cardinals’ pass catchers, especially if McCoy locks onto one receiver over the others. We shouldn’t expect much in terms of touchdown production, however, as McCoy only threw one in the four games, and the offense as a whole should see a marked regression in scoring until Kyler returns.

There is also one additional piece of the puzzle for projecting the 2023 season. I am not so certain that the Cardinals will be excited to rush Kyler Murray back from a major injury if their season starts as poorly as most are anticipating. The Cardinals could realistically find themselves in the Caleb Williams sweepstakes with a 1-8 start, which puts them in an interesting position of power. Whether they want to draft Caleb Williams or not, it will be vital that Kyler Murray is fully healthy entering next offseason. This would make him a much more enticing trade piece for quarterback-needy teams around the NFL, and the return could expedite their aforementioned rebuild.

So where does this leave us for the receiving options throughout next season? As the depth chart currently stands, the primary targets on a per-game basis will likely include the following: James Conner, Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch, and Trey McBride. In addition, Zach Ertz should return at some point this season, and the rookie Michael Wilson will have a chance to break into the rotation.

James Conner

James Conner should be the beneficiary of a more conservative offense next season. He averaged five targets per game playing with Colt McCoy. He should also continue to thrive in goal-line scenarios, vulturing touchdowns from the passing attack since there isn’t a great red zone threat amongst the receiving corps. That said, I expect him to have fewer touchdown opportunities than in prior seasons since this offense will be exceptionally bad. An aging running back on a bad offense is not someone that I want on my dynasty team, so if Conner has any surge in value early in the season, I will be actively shopping him for any potential buyers. At best, I am projecting Conner to have around 65 yards/game on the ground and add three catches for 20 yards. Fantasy managers will be praying for him to fall into the end zone every week, which is not a game I like to play.

(Video) Stat Surprises + Keeper Decisions, Rotten Commissioners | Fantasy Football 2023 - Ep. 1405

Marquise Brown

Marquise Brown is a player that I have been notably higher on than most this offseason. It was always expected that Hopkins would play elsewhere in 2023, and I believe this works in his favor. In eight games without Hopkins last season, Brown had 4+ receptions in 7/8 games, 6+ targets in 7/8 games, 9+ targets in 6/8 games, and 10+ targets in 4/8 games. He received eight targets in the two games that he appeared with McCoy playing QB. Brown is the only receiving option in Arizona that I feel “safe” drafting. He should see a steady volume each game, and should Kyler Murray return earlier than expected, I anticipate he would pepper his once-college teammate with targets. As mentioned, the concern for Brown is the expectation that the offense will have extreme difficulty finding the end zone this season. Volume is king in PPR leagues, however, so if I can buy Brown for cheap with the potential of 12+ ppg as a pretty realistic outcome, I am taking advantage of the opportunity.

Rondale Moore

Rondale Moore is a true Swiss army knife type of player, which leaves his fantasy value extremely volatile. He played in three games with Marquise Brown last season, all of which saw Kyler as the starting QB. Moore saw 5, 8, and 10 targets in those three games but failed to find the end zone in all three games. He made only one appearance with Colt McCoy starting (this without Marquise Brown) and amassed 13 targets for 94 yards. The question is whether we can rely on this volume each game in the upcoming season. While I do not feel as confident in Moore’s consistency compared to Marquise Brown, as mentioned above, volume is king. He will need to rely on a hefty target share for any fantasy manager to trust him in their lineup this season, as he struggled to find the end zone even before the loss of Kyler and Hopkins. Perhaps his best path to high fantasy production is one that sees Brown battle injury yet again this season.

The above three players should see ~24 targets/game by my projections, and using the previous McCoy statistics (33 attempts/game), nine targets are left for the remaining receiving options. These players include Greg Dortch, Trey McBride, Zach Ertz, and a rotation of Zach Pascal, Michael Wilson, and the remaining running backs. From a fantasy perspective, there simply won’t be enough volume to go around in such a poor offense to expect anything from these options. However, if I am in a rebuilding scenario, McBride would be an interesting target with the expectation of either Caleb Williams or a healthy Kyler Murray in 2024 and Ertz potentially moving on from Arizona.

Michael Wilson

Despite the lack of volume for the remaining receiving options, I would like to take the opportunity to outline one of the late-round favorites in rookie drafts for many fantasy managers — Michael Wilson. At 6’2” and 213 lbs., Wilson checks the box from a height and weight standpoint. He needs to refine some of his route running to truly excel in the NFL, but he runs with a good tempo and moves well in and out of his breaks. Unfortunately, Wilson never really showed us a full season of solid production during his time at Stanford. His best season was in 2019 when he hauled in 56 catches for 672 yards and five touchdowns. After that, he only appeared in 14 games over his final three seasons.

(Video) Top 10 Receiving Corps

Wilson is a player many believe was held down by poor offensive scheme and quarterback play at the college level. Stanford attempted to use him all over the field, including wide receiver screens, quick-outs, and crossers, to get the ball in his hands and showcase his ability after the catch. This suggests at least a potential to develop into a viable PPR fantasy player. We can only use the information that we have, however, and fellow DFF writer Chris Miles outlined some of the analytics behind Wilson in one of his recent tweets. He evaluated draft classes since 2014 and found that Wilson is among a group of rookie wide receivers with Round 3 draft capital, non-early declare status, and whose best season Y/TPA (yards per total pass attempt) is < 2.9. Collectively, these players have averaged 3.69 ppg as rookies, 6.53 ppg in year two, and 3.43 ppg in year three. Though these numbers are far from hopeful, if there were ever an offense that this narrative could change, it just might be the 2023 Arizona Cardinals.

Since 2014 rookie WRs with
🔸Round 3 DC
🔸Non-Early Declare Status
🔸Best Season Y/TPA < 2.9

Have averaged
🔹3.69 ppg as rookies
🔹6.53 ppg as sophomores
🔹3.43 ppg as juniors

The 2023 WRs to join this group
– Michael Wilson
– Tre Tucker

(Video) 2023 Live Fantasy Football Draft... 2nd Round RBs?

— DFF Draft Director⚙️ (@ChrisMiles1017) May 23, 2023


As a whole, this offense might be one that I collectively avoid in the upcoming season, regardless of league type. There are many moving parts, and you would need quite a few things to break the right way to have a fantasy-relevant player on your roster. But if I’m pulling the trigger on someone from the offense now that Hopkins is gone, give me Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, with the potential to be an absolute target hog and prolific PPR player.

Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts or questions and would like to discuss them, you can reach out to me on Twitter @Evan_Kerr_. #DFFArmy #AlwaysBeBuilding


Who is WR1 for Cardinals? ›

The move thrusts Marquise Brown into the WR1 role for the Cardinals. Wideouts Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch, Zach Pascal and rookie Michael Wilson all figure to vie for a larger role.

Who are the receivers for the Arizona Cardinals? ›

What is the Arizona Cardinals slogan? ›

The Arizona Cardinals Gold Slogan Bracelet features the phrase "Rise Up Red Sea" in red, black, and white enamel letter beads.

What NFL teams are getting new uniforms in 2023? ›

NFL teams with new uniforms 2023 are Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers. Philadelphia Eagles new uniforms are their throwback jerseys of Kelly Green.

Who is the Cardinals best WR? ›

Larry Fitzgerald is the career receiving leader of the Arizona Cardinals with 17,492 yards. As of March 2023, he is the only player in the National Football League franchise's history to have gained more than ten thousand yards on passing plays.

Is Josh Reynolds a WR1? ›

As a result, Reynolds was elevated to the WR1 role. Of course, we've seen things like this happen in the past. Just because a guy is the WR1 doesn't mean he will produce any better than normal.

What wide receiver did the AZ Cardinals release? ›

The Arizona Cardinals release wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who arrived in a trade from the Houston Texans in 2020; Hopkins' release comes after the Cardinals were unable to find a trade partner for the 30-year-old, who is now free to sign with any team.

What wide receiver did the Cardinals release? ›

The Arizona Cardinals released veteran wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins Friday, ending the five-time Pro Bowler's tenure with the team after three seasons. Hopkins had indicated a desire to be traded over the past month, but continued to work out on his own while the team convened for offseason activities.

What wide receiver did the Texans trade to the Cardinals? ›

Arizona landed Hopkins in a trade with the Texans in March 2020. He has played three seasons with the Cardinals. But due to injuries and a six-game suspension at the start of the 2022 campaign, Hopkins' production has taken a slight decline from his first stint with the Texans.

Why do the Cardinals have 21 on their hats? ›

Winners of the Roberto Clemente Award, like Wainwright, will wear his No. 21 on back of their caps for the rest of their major league careers. Players who have won the Roberto Clemente Award will wear his No. 21 on the back of their baseball caps for the rest of their major league careers.

What are Cardinals fans called? ›

Cardinal Nation, or Redbird Nation, is a term commonly used to describe, in aggregate, the fans of the St.

What does the cardinal logo mean? ›

It depicts the head of a bird, which reflects the determination of the team. A bird sitting on a baseball bat is also a well-known logo of the St. Louis Cardinals.

What NFL team is getting new uniforms? ›

The Lions will get new uniforms in 2024.

Wood also reported that the Lions will have new uniforms, but they won't be introduced until 2024. He noted that redesigning uniforms is a two-year process, something we have seen with other teams. There are no details yet, but we know they will not change their colors.

Do NFL players get new outfits every game? ›

NFL teams do not wear new uniforms every game. That would be very expensive and wasteful. Every so often they hold an auction for a player's worn jersey, but teams seldom only use a uniform for one game. The only things I can think of when that happens is the Super Bowl every year.

Who is the fastest player on the Cardinals? ›

akihirohatako // Shutterstock
  • #8. ...
  • #7. SS Paul DeJong – 27.7 feet/second. ...
  • #6. RF Lars Nootbaar – 28 feet/second. ...
  • #5. RF Dylan Carlson – 28.1 feet/second. ...
  • #4. 2B Tommy Edman – 28.6 feet/second. ...
  • #3. CF Harrison Bader – 29.3 feet/second. ...
  • #2. SS Edmundo Sosa – 29.5 feet/second. ...
  • #1. LF Tyler O'Neill – 29.8 feet/second.
Jun 25, 2022

What is the best cardinal team of all time? ›

Unsurprisingly, the Cardinals dynasty of the 1940s rates as the best Redbirds teams of all-time. In terms of Average and Peak ELO, the 1944 Cardinals team ranks behind only the two biggest outliers of all-time - the 1906 Cubs and 1939 Yankees.

Who is the best WR to ever play football? ›

Top 10 Greatest NFL Wide Receivers Of All Time
  • Lance Alworth, San Diego Chargers.
  • Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts.
  • Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals.
  • Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings.
  • Terrell Owens, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Don Hutson, Green Bay Packers.
  • Steve Largent, Seattle Seahawks.
  • Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions.
May 24, 2023

Is Marquise Brown a WR1? ›

67 overall). With that said, Brown has the talent to be a WR1.

Is Mike Williams a WR1? ›

At best, he's a league-winning WR1.

Is Diggs a WR1? ›

His name is Stefon Diggs.
Stefon Diggs' Case for the No. 1 WR Spot.
ReceiverStefon Diggs
Expecting Receiving TDs11.8
Receiving TDs10
Expected Receiving Yards1,783
Receiving Yards1,225
3 more columns
Jun 3, 2022

Why would Cardinals release Hopkins? ›

The Arizona Cardinals pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the NFL offseason, cutting bait with DeAndre Hopkins. The Arizona franchise announced it had released the star wide receiver after it couldn't find a trade partner for him.

Why did Arizona cut Hopkins? ›

Why Cardinals cut DeAndre Hopkins instead of trading him: Arizona reportedly unhappy with WR sitting out games.

Why did Cardinals cut Hopkins? ›

The Cardinals released the three-time All-Pro wide receiver in a salary cap move Friday after they failed to find a trading partner in the offseason. Arizona made the move three seasons after acquiring Hopkins in a blockbuster trade with Houston and eventually signing him to a $54.5m contract extension through 2024.

What did the Texans trade to the Cardinals in 2023 draft? ›

Arizona acquired the No. 12 and No. 33 selections in 2023, plus a 2024 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick. The Texans traded their own 2024 first-round pick to the Cardinals, not the Browns' 2024 first round pick they also owned, according to ESPN.

Why are there only 31 picks? ›

There are 31 picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft because the Miami Dolphins were stripped of their top selection for violations of league policies relating to the integrity of the game.

Who did the Cardinals trade their pick for? ›

The Arizona Cardinals have dealt their No. 96 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Nos. 122, 139 and 168. It's the latest trade made by new general manager Monti Ossenfort during the draft and his second deal with Detroit.

Why are the Cardinals wearing pink uniforms? ›

In honor of Mothers Day, MLB players are wearing pink on Sunday. While the uniforms are (for the most part) their usual colors, players are permitted to wear pink cleats, wristbands and more.

Why are the Cardinals wearing yellow? ›

All on-field personnel including players, umpires, managers, and coaches bore the symbol as the league marked their Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. Major League Baseball has raised awareness of childhood cancer for the seventh consecutive year.

Who wore 13 for the Cardinals? ›

13: Mort Cooper

Cooper accumulated a 31.9 bWAR in his 11-year career and won the MVP Award with the Cardinals in 1942, posting a 1.78 ERA and 22-7 record.

Who is the most famous Cardinals fan? ›

Celebrity Fan

Jon Hamm is perhaps the most famous Cardinals fan, but he's not the only one. Country legend Alan Jackson, actors Billy Bob Thornton and John Goodman, and comedian Jeff Foxwrothy are all longtime Cards fans and have been spotted at games mingling among their fellow Best Fans in Baseball.

How much do Cardinal players make? ›

Cardinals 2023 Payroll
Active Players (26)AgeBase Salary
Giovanny Gallegos31$4,500,000
Tommy Edman28$4,200,000
Drew VerHagen32$3,000,000
Chris Stratton32$2,800,000
22 more rows

What are Cardinals kickers called? ›

On March 17, 2021, Prater signed with the Arizona Cardinals on a two–year deal.

What does it mean if a cardinal hits your window? ›

The male sees his reflection in the window and thinks it is a rival trying to usurp his territory. He flies at the window to try and make the rival leave. This behavior is most often reported in mockingbirds, robins, and cardinals. Stopping this behavior can be difficult.

What does it mean when you see three cardinals together? ›

Seeing three cardinals together is said to be the best sign of luck possible -for yourself or someone you love. To Native American tribes, three cardinals was considered an omen that good things were coming. It symbolized the arrival of a hero, someone who brings great joy and happiness to others.

What do cardinals represent at Christmas? ›

Birds, and specifically the cheery red cardinals, are a symbol of hope and joy during the Christmas season.

Which NFL team has the most black fans? ›

The Los Angeles Kings have the largest percentage of nonwhite fans by a significant margin, followed by the Florida Panthers, Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals.

Do NFL players pay for their uniforms? ›

Players do not pay for their uniforms or any of the gear they use. So who pays for the fancy uniforms? It's a franchise that usually covers the costs of their players' uniforms. However, teams can recover the cost of these uniforms by selling replicas or authentic jerseys to fans for hundreds of dollars.

Do NFL players get new helmets every game? ›

How often do NFL players wear new helmets? The players are supposed to use the same helmet throughout the season — but the equipment managers check each helmet every week for cracks, as well as cleaning the linings and pads. If any are found to have cracks, they are immediately replaced.

What NFL package gets you every game? ›

NFL+ also includes live out-of-market preseason games as well as live audio from every game of the season, on any device. With an NFL+ Premium subscription, you can watch full and condensed replays of every game on your schedule.

Will NFL be on regular TV in 2023? ›

The 2023 NFL season features 18 Sunday Night Football games and one Peacock-exclusive match in Week 16. Two other matchups round out NBC's regular-season coverage: its annual NFL Kickoff game in Week 1 and a Thanksgiving night fixture. You can watch Sunday Night Football on NBC through most TV providers.

What laundry detergent does the NFL use? ›

Tide is now the "Official Laundry Detergent of the NFL" and all 32 of its teams after the signing of a multi-year deal by the league and Procter & Gamble.

Do NFL players shower after games? ›

Showers were always in order following every game regardless of how much you played. This naturally also applies to the backup quarterback who just held a clipboard all game. There is just something rejuvenating and necessary about it after wearing a complete football uniform.

Do NFL players get free clothes? ›

Many NFL players receive free team clothes, but it's important to remember that the clothing is not a sign of talent or ability. It is instead an acknowledgement from the league that they think the player isn't good enough and should not be on their team.

Who is WR1 in Denver? ›

Jerry Jeudy

Is Kirk a WR1? ›

He operated as Jacksonville's clear WR1 and Lawrence's favorite target. Kirk caught 84 of 133 targets for 1,108 yards and eight touchdowns — all career highs.

How good is James Conner? ›

Conner provides excellent short-term value for teams in win-now mode heading into the 2023 campaign. He is a dual-threat runner with a nose for the end zone and a pair of soft hands. At over 230 pounds, he has the power to drive the pile, as you can see below.

Who is WR1 in nyg? ›

NFC East
PosWide ReceiversAge
WR1Jalin Hyatt21
WR2Wan'Dale Robinson22
WR3Darius Slayton26
WR4Isaiah Hodgins24
6 more rows

Is Jeudy a WR1? ›

Jeudy already operated as a WR1 for an extended period of time in 2022, and he will build on that going forward.

What does WR1 mean in NFL? ›

Most fantasy leagues have 12 owners, meaning the top players at the position, wide receiver ones (WR1), are limited.

Who is WR1 in Atlanta? ›

NFC South
PosWide ReceiversAge
WR1Drake London21
WR2Mack Hollins29
WR3Scotty Miller25
WR4KhaDarel Hodge28

Is Mooney a WR1? ›

He returns as the WR1 of the Chicago Bears in 2022. Mooney will be leading a room of jags and rookie Velus Jones. Jones is better suited for kick-off and punt returns but will see receiver work.

Is Ceedee Lamb a WR1 fantasy? ›

Lamb was a solid WR1 in 2022. I'm anticipating him becoming an elite WR1 sometime in the next two seasons.

What happened to James Conner? ›

Cardinals' James Conner: Looking good in offseason program

After breaking out with 18 total touchdowns in his first season with Arizona in 2021, Conner fell back to eight scores in 13 games while battling ankle, knee, rib and shin injuries over the course of the most recent campaign.

Is James Conner a drop? ›

Conner dominated the passing snaps and still had a more than 2-to-1 lead in rush snaps over Benjamin. That led to a season low 3.7 points for Benjamin and portends poorly for his role going forward. That factor makes him a strong drop candidate in shallow leagues and a potential drop candidate in deeper leagues.

How many brothers does James Conner have? ›

Conner's four brothers -- three biological, one a stepsibling who is considered blood -- challenged him physically.

What is WR1 WR2? ›

WR1, WR2, WR3: In a 10-team league, a WR1 is a top-10 wide receiver, a WR2 is ranked from 11-20, and a WR3 is ranked 21-30. Zero-RB strategy: A strategy wherein a manager opts against selecting any running backs during the first four or five rounds of a draft.

Who is WR1 in Tennessee? ›

Treylon Burks talks conditioning, asthma, being Titans' WR1, more.

Who is 13 for nyg? ›

New York Giants Roster
Name:Pos:How Acquired:
15 Collin JohnsonWR2020/Waivers
19 Jeff SmithWR2023/UFA
13 David SillsWR2019/UFA
81 Kalil PimpletonWR2022/UFA
72 more rows


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